today’s news for Friday, September 22, 2017

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 Off the Cuff

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Megan, Stephen, and Allie discuss how Congress's renewed focus on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act could have implications for higher education. While lawmakers focus on health care, tax reform and other issues are put on the back burners. Stephen gives an update on efforts to preserve the Perkins Loan Program, while Allie outlines details from the Arizona attorney general's lawsuit over high tuition prices. Megan and Justin dive into NASFAA's comments to the Department of Education on burdensome regulations. Plus, Justin Timberlake and Barack Obama were among some of our members' answers for who they would like to have dinner with.

The Department of Education's (ED) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is calling for Western Governors University (WGU), a well-known online education provider, to repay hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid, saying in an audit that the institution was not eligible to receive Title IV funds.

The Rapid Response Network is tasked with becoming familiar with NASFAA's policy positions, as adopted by the Board of Directors; providing timely, relevant feedback and examples to inquiries related to proposed legislation, regulation and/or related initiatives; assisting NASFAA policy staff in aggregating and analyzing feedback, including identification of common themes and/or trends among responses; and based on feedback, engaging in discussion with NASFAA policy staff to help inform potential recommendations and official policy positions. Review the task force charter for more details, and, if interested, complete the volunteer form.


The fall course beginning October 17 is now full, however there is still time to join the waitlist. Complete the Waitlist Form to be notified of course openings or to reserve your seat if additional course offerings become available.

The Department of Education's Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Federal Student Aid's (FSA) Senior Advisor of Cybersecurity will host a webinar on data security and privacy next Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. The federal officials will discuss different data security and privacy requirements, best practices, and the latest guidance from ED on data sharing. The webinar is open to 1,500 attendees.


Today, Federal Student Aid released seven new reports to highlight the characteristics of Federal Student Aid customers. The new reports were posted to the FSA Data Center, the centralized online source for Federal Student Aid data, along with a series of updates to the quarterly application, disbursement, and portfolio reports to include data through June 30, 2017. Updates were also made to the report that provides self-reported information from Title IV schools about their cash management contracts.

The Department of Education has released Volume 3 – Calculating Awards & Packaging of the 2017-2018 Federal Student Aid Handbook.


National News

"The Department of Education rejected two recent calls to improve its monitoring of the financial health of colleges and universities -- despite findings that its metrics predicted only half of institutional closures in recent years," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"Two-parent households are dwindling in the United States, with four out of 10 children being born to a single mother, according to a new report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR). Between 1999 and 2012, the number of single mothers attending college has nearly doubled," according to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

"U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is realistic about the prospects for passing a bill by the end of the month to extend the Perkins Loan program, which provides subsidized loans to low-income college students, including $14 million worth of aid at UW-Madison," the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

State News

"On Aug. 1, New Zealand Labour Party leader Andrew Little resigned after his party hit a catastrophic low of 24 percent support in an opinion poll ahead of the Sept. 23 election. He handed control over to his deputy, Jacinda Ardern, then age 36," Times Higher Education reports. "A sharp, informal communicator described by some as a 'rock-star politician' in the vein of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ardern has since won Labour a surge of support, predictably termed 'Jacindamania' by the media. One of Ardern's key policies is a pledge to abolish tuition and increase living-cost support for students."




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